Namahage Museum なまはげ館
Photo copyright: Oga city
Regional Namahage masks and more at this showcase of a local ritual from ancient times
Oga City's Namahage Museum highlights all things Namahage through various displays. The "Namahage Seizoroi Corner" features masks and costumes from 60 districts around Oga. The "Shinpi Hall" explores the nature and customs of Oga, and the "Densho Hall" features a large screen which plays a film showcasing the Namahage Festival on New Year's Eve. At the "Namahage Transformation Corner," visitors can try on authentic Namahage costumes for themselves.
The Namahage of Oga were designated a National Important Folk Cultural Property in 1978, and went on to receive Intangible Cultural Heritage designation from UNESCO in 2018.
For the people of Oga, Namahage are a deity that visit at New Year's to warn against laziness, bring good health to people, good harvests from the field, and good fortune from mountains and seas.
The related Namahage Sedo Festival involves dancing and drumming
How to Get There
It takes about an hour from JR Akita Station to Oga Station, the last stop on the Ou Line. From there, it is about 30 minutes to the Namahage Museum via the Namahage Shuttle bus. Please see the official website for reservations.
The Namahage Seizoroi
Uncover the importance of this dramatic event for the local people and their culture through the exhibits on display. These include the "Namahage Seizoroi," which displays a variety of masks and costumes from across the Oga area.
Enjoy the costumes and a documentary film
Try on the costumes and have your photograph taken. There is also a theater that runs “An Evening with the Namahage,” a 15-minute documentary film on the festival and what it means to local people.
Other exhibits in the museum include the Shinpi Hall, which exhibits an Oga boat, mini forest, tools and other items that play a part in the Oga culture.
* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.